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Your Experienced Workplace Wrongful Death Lawyers

Nearly 160 Ohio workers died in on-the-job accidents during 2018, which is the last year for which complete data are available. Regardless of where or how an employee’s death occurs, the victim’s family is usually left emotionally devastated and financially struggling. When you are in need of a workplace wrongful death attorney, contact Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman Law in Columbus, Ohio today.

Most Common Causes of Workplace Death In The United States

According to reports collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of workplace deaths have occurred from:

  • Car or truck accidents while driving company vehicles or traveling for work;
  • Fatal harm by objects or equipment;
  • Violence by co-workers or customers;
  • Exposure to harmful substances; and,
  • Falls/slips/trips

Ohio residents plunged into such a tragic reality have two options for seeking compensation:

  1. First, the state workers’ compensation program accepts applications for death benefits.
  1. Second, and in addition to a possible death claim, family members of a person who dies in a work-related accident can explore the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Death Claims

The Bureau of Ohio Workers’ Compensation recognizes two types of claims for death benefits:

  • The first is for on-the-job injuries or exposures that kill an employee “instantaneously”—meaning on the spot or within days of the accident.
  • The other type of workers’ comp death benefit is paid when a person suffers for years from a work-related injury or occupational illness before dying due to complications of the injury or illness.

In both types of cases, tight statutes of limitations (deadlines) for filing claims are enforced. Grieving family members who fail to meet the application deadline cannot receive benefits or, except in rare instances, appeal the denial of benefits.

What you may expect from a workplace wrongful death settlement

Settling an initial workers’ comp claim will not make it impossible for a family to claim death benefits. The amount of the death benefits will be calculated based in part on to how much financial support the deceased worker provided to their family. Consulting with an experienced workplace death lawyer in Columbus will clarify when paperwork must be submitted and which forms must be completed.

Filing for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Following a Death on the Job

Ohio law makes it practically impossible for a family member to sue their loved one’s employer following a fatal workplace accident.

However, there are grounds that exist for filing a wrongful death claim, such as:

  • Against the maker of a faulty tool or machine may exist.
  • A driver who causes a deadly crash can be held liable for colliding with a work vehicle.

These legal actions are called third-party lawsuits, and they are settled by an insurance company or go to trial like any other kind of wrongful death case.

What type of money damages can a family receive from a workplace death claim?

Money damages and compensation include:

  • The victim’s anticipated earnings until retirement or natural death;
  • The loss of benefits such as pension payments and health insurance coverage due to the victim’s death;
  • Expenses incurred because of the death, including emergency medical care and funeral costs; and
  • Noneconomic losses such as loss of a spouse’s companionship and/or loss of a parent’s care and protection.

Applying for and receiving workers’ comp death benefits will not prevent family members from succeeding with a workplace wrongful death lawsuit.